Friday, February 3, 2023

SA’s first online animal health academy launched

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A new virtual animal health academy was recently launched at the Misty Hills Country Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa in Muldersdrift by MSD Animal Health and the International Agricultural Academy for Africa (i3a).

The two entities officially started working together in 2021 to establish the formally accredited MSD Animal Health Training Academy and to jointly develop practical animal health and biosecurity qualifications to the benefit of all farmers and students across the African continent.

Available anywhere in Africa

According to Jacques van Rensburg, MSD Animal Health’s national training manager, what makes the MSD Animal Health Training Academy so unique is the fact that it is South Africa’s first online accredited industry-related academy that specialises in animal health.

“Because all training is offered online, students from across Africa are welcome to enrol for our MSD industry-related qualifications.” 

Enrolled participants can study at their own pace and place and according to their personal abilities, thus enabling employed people to study part-time. However, while classes are presented virtually, practical fieldwork is also incorporated into the curriculum.

“The practical fieldwork training will take place over five days,” Van Rensburg said. “Once we know where in southern Africa students are based, we will be able to arrange for fieldwork training at a venue close to them.”

Courses offered

Currently, the MSD Animal Health Training Academy offers four different qualifications:

  • A 12-month national certificate in animal production with a specialisation in animal health (NQF 4).
  • A 24-month national diploma in animal production with a specialisation in animal health (NQF 5).
  • A 12-month national certificate in agri sales and services, which is a course speciality tailor-made for the agribusiness sales teams.
  • Various two-day practical short courses that focus on cattle and sheep health and biosecurity.

Read more about taboo unregistered and illegal livestock remedies here.

Current costs

During the launch, Dr Alan Kloeck, general manager of MSD Animal Health in South and Sub-Saharan Africa, said it was exciting for MSD Animal Health to have partnered with i3a to develop education for Africa.

“The fact that these qualifications come at a monetary cost rather than being free is also very important,” Dr Kloeck said. “This means that anyone who enrols is committed to applying their minds and developing their skills. That is the entire purpose behind this partnership that we have ventured into.”

The annual cost of the qualifications over 12 months is R28 000, which can be paid once off or divided into ten instalments of R2 750 per month.

To find out more about the MSD Animal Health Training Academy, visit www.msd.i3a.africa. – Susan Marais, AgriOrbit

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